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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/336

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314 . LETTERS OF CORTES. mated ; so that we returned to our camp with the deter- mination of hastening the operations of the war, and not suffering a day to elapse without entering the city until the war was at an end. During that day our division met with no loss except that at the moment we left our ambush some horsemen came in collision, and one of them falling from his mare, the animal ran directly to the enemy, who let fly their arrows and wounded her so badly, that disliking her reception she returned to us, and the same night died. Although this circumstance was a matter of regret, inasmuch as our life depended on our horses and mares ; yet it was less so than if the mare had died in the hands of the enemy, as we were led to ex- pect ; for if this had been the case, the enemy would have derived from it more joy than they had experienced grief from our success against them. The brigantines and the canoes of our allies had committed great ravages in the city on that day without having suffered any loss. We had already known that the Indians of the city were much disheartened, and we now learned from the report of two inconsiderable persons who came out to our camp by night, that the people were perishing with hunger ; and that they employed the night in fishing amongst the houses of the city, and in seeking in the quarter we had captured for wood, and for herbs and roots to eat. As we had filled up many of the canals, and removed numerous other obstacles to our progress, I resolved to enter the city at early dawn, and do all the injury I could. The brigantines also sallied forth before daylight, while I with twelve or fifteen horse, a body of foot, and our allies, entered hastily, and stationed several scouts, who, when it was light and we were concealed in ambush, gave a signal, at which we rushed forth, and